‘Mangolia’ by Gary McMillan
Artist: Gary McMillan
Medium: Acrylic on Masonite hardboard
Dimensions: 20″ x 16″
Year of Creation: 2021
About the Artwork:
“There are arguably two ways one can experience a world which is unfamiliar; either travel to a strange place or travel to a strange time. Of course, there is also the possibility to do both. It is fun and even enlightening to imagine a plunge into an imaginary universe, to be set down in an alien world which seems to have only a tenuous familiarity. As an artist, I am always looking for new speculative places to observe in order to think about how my own real world may transform itself. I like to think of the viewer looking at my work in the same way, willing to venture into these places of mine, where there are natural forms and situations that are unfamiliar. In my paintings, the color of everything is strange but beautiful, and the way the presented natural forms fit into the local ecology is a mystery. The places are also safe so that even as the viewer is a little uncertain, they are wonderstruck and are eager to probe deeper into unknown territory.
Humanoids play a large role in my invented worlds, yet they seem to lack any kind of technology or physical culture. In my paintings, I suppose I am imagining technology which has transformed itself out of existence, which has become embedded into the biology of living things. Perhaps it is a utopia built upon forgotten knowledge. Perhaps it is simply nature asserting its slow change and assimilating all of the past into a seamless organic web. In any case, I hope you enjoy my visions of an alternate world which may be unfolding, or which has already come into being… far, far away.” – Gary McMillan
About the Artist:
Having grown up in Calgary, Gary McMillan attended the University of Calgary in 1978 to 1980, studying science and fine-art. He exhibited paintings of Alberta landscape throughout the 1980’s, and then attended Alberta College of Art and Design from 1989 to 1991. Holding a double major in painting and printmaking, he received a Diploma with Distinction in 1991. Employing the use of the human figure and landscape, he produces themed series of paintings infused with the absurd. He has exhibited in a number of group and solo shows in Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver.